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European Parliament approves exemption for Slovakia and Romania

The European Parliament (EP) approved an exemption for Slovakia and Romania that will make it possible for them to draw European funds over three years instead of two [according to the 'n+3' rule that will apply to all states in the next 2014-20 programme period, projects financed by EU funds are required to be contracted, completed, implemented and reimbursed within a maximum of three years following funding approval]. This means that after the end of the 2007-14 programme period Slovakia and Romania will have EU funds available for another three years instead of two, according to the exemption approved November 20. The exemption was pushed by Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and Romanian President Traian Basescu during a meeting with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso at an EU summit in February of this year. As of July 31, Slovakia had managed to draw only 42.82 percent of the overall package of €11.5 billion from EU funds that were made available in the current programme period. “Slovakia is lagging behind in spending EU funds,” Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) MEP Miroslav Mikolášik said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “We’re almost at the end of the 2007-13 programme period and we’ve drawn less than 60 percent, in some sectors less than 50 percent of the funds, so this is good news for Slovak citizens, regardless of what government is in power. Someone wants to give us money, so let’s use it.”

The European Parliament (EP) approved an exemption for Slovakia and Romania that will make it possible for them to draw European funds over three years instead of two [according to the 'n+3' rule that will apply to all states in the next 2014-20 programme period, projects financed by EU funds are required to be contracted, completed, implemented and reimbursed within a maximum of three years following funding approval].

This means that after the end of the 2007-14 programme period Slovakia and Romania will have EU funds available for another three years instead of two, according to the exemption approved November 20. The exemption was pushed by Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and Romanian President Traian Basescu during a meeting with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso at an EU summit in February of this year.

As of July 31, Slovakia had managed to draw only 42.82 percent of the overall package of €11.5 billion from EU funds that were made available in the current programme period.

“Slovakia is lagging behind in spending EU funds,” Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) MEP Miroslav Mikolášik said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “We’re almost at the end of the 2007-13 programme period and we’ve drawn less than 60 percent, in some sectors less than 50 percent of the funds, so this is good news for Slovak citizens, regardless of what government is in power. Someone wants to give us money, so let’s use it.”

Movement for Democratic Slovakia-HZDS MEP Sergej Kozlik pointed out that according to the European Commission’s predictions, Slovakia will be able to draw 52 percent of available EU funds from the current programme period, which puts the country in 23rd place among 27 EU countries (excluding new member state Croatia).

While Slovakia will pay €6.8 billion from its coffers into the budget of the EU in the period between 2014-20, it will receive some €20.3 billion, meaning that Slovakia will receive around €14 billion more than it will send to the common EU budget, Fico said Fico at a November 20 press conference. “Almost 76 percent of all public investment in Slovakia is currently funded by the EU,” he said.

(Source: TASR)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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